Monday, March 31, 2014

They're baaaack...not exactly...

The kids may not actually be in the nest, but their stuff is!
Did any of you actually say to your kids: "when you move out and into the 'real world,' any of the furniture, books, rugs, pots and pans you take with you, can't come back." If you did, wow, I'm impressed. How did it go? Is it still gone?
Not at my house. I guess I didn't say that or I didn't express my expectations.
I've told our kids as they get closer to that point, college graduation and then the real world, that they can take their bedroom stuff: the bed, bureau, bookshelf, desk, chair, etc. And if there are some other items that we have, that we've acquired along the way, ie., chairs or a coffee table.  One of our kids took the bed and nothing else, the other took their entire room of contents...two years later: the "entire-room-of-contents kid" brought it all back! OK, he moved across country, but really? Clearly, we're much cheaper than a storage unit. But what are we supposed to do with it? Good thing we've got other kids.
Sure, they have to weigh the cost of shipping or renting a U-Haul and moving and see what makes the most sense. Maybe they can buy the bed from the previous tenant? 
I must confess that I've been guilty of holding onto things for years, thinking in the back of my mind that one of our kids may "need" this or want this. I guess the problem is that I haven't done a good job of communicating that. I remember what my first apartment was furnished with, a very eclectic early garage sale, scattered with lots of orange crates. My roommate and I loved it! I can't help but wonder when our Gen Yer goes to buy some of these items, they may say to themselves, "man, beds are expensive, I wish I would have taken my bed from home." Maybe part of the fun of setting up "house" for the first time is Craig's List (the now version of garage sale)? But I do NOT recommend buying beds on Craig's List. Have you read all of the articles on bed bugs? Yikes!
I've got a girlfriend that sent out an email to her four grown kids (Gen Y): "Now hear this, Dad and I are down sizing. The moving van is coming tomorrow and taking two loads: one load to our new smaller town house and the other to a storage unit in town. You have one year from tomorrow to come and take any of the items in the storage unit. (No in-and-out penalties, total access to the unit). Memories galore will be there! Your past trophies, high school banners, yearbooks, CD's, posters, furniture, your twin beds....If, after one year you have not claimed it, the blue dumpster from BFI arrives and the truck from Good Will and off it goes!"
Guess what? Worked brilliantly!
Less is more, right? Now entering into this next phase of MY life, that empty nest phase, I just may be interested in a little more minimalist thinking! For the time being and due to family planning, there's no posting on Craig's List for us....not yet. One of our kids may decide the price is right and they'll seize the opportunity to take some of this stuff to furnish their new place?!  Who knows?

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